Dear Sir, ON balance I support
George W Bush and Tony Blair in going to war against Saddam Hussein.
The key words in that statement are ”on balance.” I could fill a page of the Bulletin poking fun at the near in–articulate President of the United States, the generals of the US Army who seem to worship General blood–and–guts Patton and have desperately under–estimated the courage and determination of the Iraqi Army. I could wax sarcastic at the war games which led the military men to think they could send flying columns of armour into the desert without ensuring that essential supplies of food, ammunition and fuel could follow them in safety. I could even devote a paragraph or two to the trigger–happy US troops who pick off comrades with friendly fire and Tony Blair who has gambled his political career on his unlikely ability to influence the extreme right–wingers who formulate White House policy. And I could point out once again the lesson the US should have learned from Vietnam that peasants living on a bowl of rice a day are not necessarily anxious to embrace the Coca Cola way of life. But still on balance I would support the US and the UK in their efforts to de–throne an inhuman monster who may yet start a blood–bath of apocalyptic proportions. And the key words are ”on balance.” Reasonable people form their opinions after weighing the pros and cons of the argument. Do you vote Labour or Tory?
Do you opt for the steak tartare or the sole meuniere? Reasonable people would agree that issues are rarely black and white. A few grams can tilt the argument either way. The smell from the kitchen or the candidate's opinion of fox–hunting. So why, as one of his faithful readers, can I recall not a single instance in which Ray Fleming has admitted that the United Nations falls even fractionally short of perfect, offering a 24 carat solution to all the problems which confront the world. Now, having campaigned frantically against use of arms to back up a decade of UN resolutions Mr Fleming is putting his shoulder to the wheel to start a bandwagon rolling to give France, Russia and Germany a major role in providing a post war government for Iraq. Poor old inarticulate George W Bush is unenthusiastic and so, not that it matter much, am I. If France, Germany and Russia had: a) supported a meaningful threat of military action against Iraq and: b) refrained from breaching sanctions and making handsome profits by supplying arms to Iraq the dispute might well have been resolved without bloodshed. As it is Mr Fleming and the ”no more war” lobby suggest that the United Nations is the body to take the new Iraq in the palm of its hands, ignoring the fact that the palm is both greasy with corruption and sweaty with fear. As for me I would be happy to read Ray Fleming discussing the question with some sense of balance. He shows, as always, an uncritical attitude to the United Nations not unlike the audience of a Tom Jones concert in Las Vegas where blue–rinsed ladies throw their knickers on to the stage in wild delight.
Mike Kernahan
Portals Nous

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